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American Horror Story

January 6, 2016

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Murphy and Falchuk began working on American Horror Story before their Fox series Glee began production. Murphy wanted to do the opposite of what he had done previously and thus began his work on the series. He stated: “I went from Nip/Tuck to Glee, so it made sense that I wanted to do something challenging and dark. And I always had loved, as Brad had, the horror genre. So it just was a natural for me.”

Ryan Murphy’s FOX series has been a showcase for some of the most eccentric horror and has to offer as a visual genre  killer clowns, demonic nuns, haunted houses and hotels. Murphy has hired  an array of stars to fill those roles, from Kathy Bates to Emma Roberts, Glenn Close to Lady Gaga.

MURDER HOUSE (season 1)

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The story takes place in 2011 and follows the Harmon family: psychiatrist Ben , his wife Vivien , and their teenage daughter Violet , who move from Boston to Los Angeles after Vivien had a miscarriage and Ben had an affair. In this seasonal anthology series, American Horror Story in the first season follows the Harmon family, who have moved  for a fresh start but end up living in a sinister haunted house instead. From producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk come the intriguing, erotic and scary story of life within the haunted house.

ASYLUM ( season 2)

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The story takes place in 1964 and follows the patients, doctors and nuns who occupy the Briarcliff Mental Institution, located in Massachusetts and founded to treat and house the criminally insane.  The patients, many of -whom claim to be unjustly institutionalized, include  journalist Lana Winters , accused serial killer Kit Walker , nymphomaniac Shelley and alleged murderer Grace Bertrand . Briarcliff’s inhabitants are routinely subject to supernatural and scientific influences, including demonic possession and extraterrestrial abduction. In the second season, the series deals with the legend of Bloody Face, who haunts the Catholic sanitarium.

COVEN ( season 3)

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The story takes place in 2013 and follows the descendants of the witches who survived the Salem Witch Trial , who are nearly extinct and are in danger once again. Thus a mysterious all-girls boarding school has opened in New Orleans to protect and house young women who carry this unique bloodline, and keep them from the dangers of the outside world. Those who share this genetic affliction are being affected  to strange and violent attacks.  Events reveal a long-held rivalry between the witches of Salem and the voodoo of New Orleans. Other themes include witchcraft, voodoo, racism, death, and family, such as the relationships between mothers and daughters. The season is set primarily in the modern day and includes flashbacks to the early 1970s and the 1830s.

FREAK SHOW ( season 4) 

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The story takes place in 1952 in the quiet town of Jupiter, Florida and follows a struggling freak show led by Elsa Mars . Decades have passed since the public has looked upon freak shows as a form of entertainment, but Elsa dreams of finding a home for her “monsters”, as well as her own fame. When conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler  are taken to the hospital, Elsa sees her chance to finally drum up some business for her sideshow, hoping the two sisters will save her troupe once and for all. This season deals with serial killers, psychopaths, and society.

HOTEL ( season 5)

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The fifth series, entitled Hotel is set in Los Angeles, California during the year 2015 in the haunted retro Hotel Cortez. It was built to become a torture chamber for the customers by the founder James Patrick March . The wardens of the hotel include the 115-year-old vampire Elizabeth The Countess  and the front desk  manager Iris. When an officer named Lowe checks into the hotel, what he doesn’t know is that he is targeted by a serial murderer called ” The Ten Commandments Killer”. Main themes include addiction, insanity and forgiveness. Alongside being set in modern day, flashbacks are set in the 1920s, 1970s, mid 1990s and the early 1980s.

Overall this TV show  is an incredible work of art and imagination. Most people would think it is just a banal scary show, but above the creepy aspect you feel in the first place, this show offers a lot more. Nothing is anodyne, if each season has a precise location there is a meaning behind it as well as the characters. Ryan Murphy does a brilliant job at misleading the audience into one direction and turning tables at the last minute. The ending is always a surprise and never what we expected. Nevertheless this show is obviously not for everyone, only for the thrill seekers and if you can handle  disturbing setting characters, images as well as deranged and psycopath people. But if you can, do not hesitate you will not be disappointed I can guarantee you.

Mathilde

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